Urbana University Holds 121st Commencement Ceremony

URBANA, Ohio (May 4, 2013) - Urbana University held its 121st Commencement Ceremony on Saturday morning in the Warren G. Grimes Center gymnasium. Seventeen graduates and eighty undergraduates received their diplomas.

The ceremony began with an invocation by board of trustee member and UU chaplain, Betsy Coffman, with a moment of silence in memory of former student Cady Reed and faculty member Kathy Bumbalough. Interim President Dr. Peterson also remembered these two persons in his welcome.

Dr. Charles Hodge, interim senior vice president of academic affairs, introduced the Class of 2013 valedictorian, Rachel Bankson, from Greenville, Ohio. She earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting with minors in management and human resources. Ms. Bankson spoke for her fellow classmates with words of thanks and appreciation for all those who helped and guided them through their days at Urbana University.

Dr. Peterson introduced the commencement speaker, former Ohio Supreme Court Justice and now partner in the Columbus law firm of Jones Day, Yvette McGee Brown. She was presented with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

This was followed by Dr. Brown’s electrifying speech to the graduates as she began with a part of her personal story. She was the first person in her family to graduate from college and then later to celebrate when her single mothers received her bachelor degree when Brown was attending law school. From these experiences, she then celebrated the achievements of the soon to be graduates, with these words, “you fulfill many dreams today as you walk across this stage.” Brown followed with words of encouragement when she told them, “You already have everything it takes to succeed. Your vocation should now be your voice.” “To be significant is more important than to be successful; for to be significant includes others, whereas to be a success is only about yourself.” As she ended her message with words from Dr. Seuss’s book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go, the crowd rose to their feet with enthusiastic appreciation.

Following the conferring of the degrees and the cheers from gathered family and friends, the administration, board of trustees, and faculty led the recessional with the graduates forming the traditional Circle of Honor.

Download the 2013 UU Candidates for Degrees List.


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Urbana University: Enjoy a bright, sun shine filled weekend! Today was beautiful across campus. #urbanauniversity #sunshine https://t.co/AmBkDw9YvS